Sunday, 27 September 2009

In Which There Is (you guessed it) Another Writer

After having my books signed by Chris Riddell and Paul Stewart I had about an hour before the final event of the day,Tony Lee 'Talking Graphic Novels' so I had time to pop down to the railway station to book tickets to go to London in 10 days time (for a Jason Webley gig)

I had decided to go to this event because I'd enjoyed reading Dr Who - The Forgotten and because I've been following him on Twitter and thought that it was likely to be interesting.

I was right - it was.

Tony was talking about his own experience and about writing comics in general - comparing it with writing novels - more 'show', less 'tell', with the need to be able to tell the story without acres of dialogue and description - also making excellent use of the flip-chart as a visual aid, encouraging audience participation to show how a stock situation (maid Marion on the scaffold, Robin Hood about to save her) becomes a story, looking at the web of connections, backstory and future possibilities which spread out from that single point, and make up the story.

Tony also demonstated his own awesome artistic talents to show what can be left out of a comic when telling the story. As you can see, his skills are such that Comic Artists everywhere will be looking to their laurels... He also spoke about how comics are laid out (i.e. cliffhanger at the bottom of a page - surprise twists on the left hand page so the eye doesn't skip ahead etc.)

I loved that Tony was so enthusiastic about his job - he also stressed that one should not become a writer to become famous - one should become a writer because one has stories to tell.

Also, if one wishes to break into comics, this can be achieved by lying ones way into interviews with DC & Marvel.

Tony was a little twitchy - he has, after all, just finished writing the graphic novel adaptation of 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' and was a little concerned that the Jane Austen Society may havbe a hit out on him as a result, which, given that the Jane Austen Festival is still going on in Bath means he was taking his life in his hands to attend... (Although thinking about it, the Jane Austen Society ought surely to be challenging him to a duel, rather than sending assasins....)

I thoroughly enjoyed the event, and was happy to get my copy of 'The Forgotten' signed at the end.

After leaving the Guildhall I took the opportunity to pop up to Waterstones to pick up a copy of Mike Carey's latest Felix Castor novel - passing one of my favourite Bath buildings - the old circulating library, where, I like to imagine, Miss Jane Austen, Miss Anne Eliot and others may all have borrowed novels, in their day.
In Waterstones I was surprised to find one final author - Allan Gilliland - who was signing copies of his book 'The Amazing Adventures of Curd the Lion and Us in the Land at the Back of Beyond' - As it happens, I saw the book in my local bookshop a couple of weeks ago, and bought a copy on impulse, as the illustrations are beautiful, and the book itself looks interesting and unusual, so it was a nice surprise to be able to meet the author .
All in All, Saturday was a Good Day. It makes uo for the rest of the week, which was considerably less fun!
In other news, my sister E has reached Singapore en route for Australia, and managed to see the qualifying for the Singapore F1 Grand Prix, despite jet-lag, which I'm sure she enjoyed, and which has the advantage of being something I need not feel envious of!
[edited to add: I was tickled pink to see Mr Lee has "blatantly stolen" my pictures for his blog of the event. They couldn't have been stolen by a nicer person.]

1 comment:

rashbre said...

And it looks as if I'm heading along that writer path at the moment. The early copies of "The Triangle" turned up on Friday.

Pop over to my place, have a look and if you like I'll send you a pre-release reviewer copy.

Ping me at

Best, rashbre